MDC’s Wolfson Archives to Present REWIND: WTFLORIDA?: Strange Stories of the Sunshine State

Miami, Aug. 26, 2019 – Strange stories abound in the Sunshine State.  Presented by the acclaimed Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College (MDC), Florida freakiness will be on full display during the screening of REWIND: WTFLORIDA?: Strange Stories of the Sunshine State, Aug. 27- Sept. 26, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at noon.  The event is free and open to the public.

“Florida has developed a real reputation for strange stuff during the last several years,” says Wolfson Archives Director Rene Ramos. “We wanted to give incoming students a weird welcome to the new semester. We’ve found footage that shows that Florida was weird even before Twitter.”

Clips featured in “WTFlorida?” date from the 1960s through the 1980s. “Fairy Tales of Florida,” a series of five reports broadcast by WTVJ-Miami in 1986, includes stories on Howard Solomon, an offbeat artist whose home in rural Hardee County, Solomon’s Castle, is a medieval castle complete with moat and stain glass windows. The Castle’s gleaming exterior is covered with recycled printing plates.

Reported by John Holden, “Fairy Tales” also profiles Kendall Thurston, a man who made his home in a tree house on the Suwannee River; Milford Myhre, the carillonneur at the Bok Tower near Lake Wales; and visits Cassadaga, Central Florida’s “Psychic Capital of the World,” where almost everyone is in touch with the spirit world.

Holden finds VanDerCar, at one time Miami’s resident warlock, relocated to a DIY concrete bunker in a Central Florida wood studded with strange sculptures. VanDerCar, widely known on the earthly plane as Lewis Vandercar, was an artist who created Tiki-style sculptures for Miami area hotels in the 1950s and 1960s.  Another VanDerCar clip included in the screening finds the artist “repairing” the collapsed Arch Creek Bridge in 1986.

Events at the Wolfson Archives are presented with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, please contact the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at 305-237-7731 or

About The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at MDC

The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives is an official moving image repository and archives of the State of Florida and is one of the largest institutions of its kind in the United States. Lynn Wolfson helped found the Moving Image Archives in 1984, along with Ralph Renick and historian Arva Moore Parks. Named in honor of Lynn and the late Louis Wolfson II, a Florida legislator and leader in the state’s communications industry, the Archives is solely operated by Miami Dade College, and is housed in a 9,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility on MDC’s Wolfson Campus. The Archives’ collections include 35,000 hours of videotape and 23 million feet of film. A local television news collection dates to the late 1940s, with footage from landmark television station WTVJ (first in Florida, 18th in the nation) as well as WPLG, WCKT, WCIX, and WINK. The capstone of activities at the Archives is a long-term digitization project funded generously by an additional gift from Lynn Wolfson.

WHAT:              REWIND: WTFLORIDA?: Strange Stories of the Sunshine State


WHEN:             Tuesday, Aug. 27- Sept. 26 noon- 1:30 p.m.


WHERE:           MDC’s Wolfson Campus, Room 8401, 300 NE Second Ave.

Media-only contacts: René Ramos, Archives director, 305-237-7731,; Lou Kramer, Archives manager, 305-327-7731,; or Kevin Wynn, public programs coordinator, 305-327-7732,